Delafield, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of the Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Delafield, Waukesha County, in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.
The Nashotah House Theological Seminary is significant to the history of Wisconsin settlement, education and architecture. Founded in 1842, six years before Wisconsin statehood, the Seminary provided early settlers a key amenity of European-American civilization: church services. From a Yankee settler’s perspective, the school was a beacon of civilization in an otherwise rugged and untamed territory. The Seminary is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state. The buildings on campus chronicle its almost 170 year history, from the Blue House (1842) and Red Chapel (1843), to Adams Hall (2011). The campus is striking for its exceptional Gothic Revival architecture. After the Great Fire of 1910, Wisconsin architect Alexander C. Eschweiler rebuilt or remodeled various school buildings. The successor firm of Eschweiler & Eschweiler continued the Gothic Revival design tradition, and architects James Douglas, and John Sutcliffe, also contributed to Nashotah House’s architectural legacy.
The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.
We gratefully acknowledge the Fuldner Heritage Fund which paid for the preparation of this nomination. This endowed fund, created through a generous donation by the Jeffris Family Foundation and administered by the Wisconsin Historical Society, supports the nomination of historically and architecturally significant rural and small town properties.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.